Tom Dwan

Last updated

Tom Dwan
Tom Dwan.jpg
Tom Dwan on High Stakes Poker in 2008
Born (1986-07-30) July 30, 1986 (age 37)
Edison, New Jersey, U.S.
World Series of Poker
Bracelet(s) None
Final table(s)3
Money finish(es)10
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
World Poker Tour
Final table(s)1
Money finish(es)2
European Poker Tour
Final table(s)None
Money finish(es)1

Thomas Dwan Jr. (born July 30, 1986) [1] is an American professional poker player who played online in the highest-stakes No-Limit Texas hold 'em and Pot-Limit Omaha games, primarily on Full Tilt Poker under the screen name "durrrr". Dwan has won prize money in live poker tournaments and has appeared on NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship , the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh seasons of Poker After Dark , the third, fourth, and fifth seasons of Full Tilt Poker's Million Dollar Cash Game, and the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth seasons of GSN's High Stakes Poker .


Early life

Tom Dwan was born on July 30, 1986, in Edison, New Jersey. [2] In season 5, week 7 of NBC’s Poker After Dark , Dwan revealed that he worked for McDonald's prior to playing poker full time. He attended Boston University before dropping out after the first year to pursue playing poker full-time. [3] [4]

Poker career

Online poker

Dwan began playing online poker with a $50 bankroll. He initially focused on sit-and-go tournaments, later switching to multiplayer cash games then to heads-up cash games.

According to, a site that tracks high-stakes online poker, Dwan earned $312,800 in 2007 on Full Tilt Poker and $5.41 million in 2008. [5] Before the 2007 World Series of Poker, Dwan claimed to have lost, at the time, $2 million of his $3 million bankroll, over a four-month period. [6] He recovered from this loss within a year. In January 2009, Dwan lost more than $3.5 million, which he recovered after six months. However, from late October to late December 2009, Dwan suffered his then-largest downswing, losing approximately $2 million to Phil Ivey, Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies and $5 million to then-19-years-old Swedish professional Viktor Blom aka Isildur1. [7]

In mid-November 2009, Blom challenged Dwan to a series of heads-up No Limit Hold'em cash games. Blom's foray into online high-stakes cash games began in late October 2009, when he initially lost $1.1 million to Patrik Antonius, Brian Townsend, and other high-stakes players. By the beginning of November, Blom had recovered his losses; he then challenged Dwan to a heads-up marathon that would take place simultaneously on six tables at a time with over a million dollars in play. By the end of the first week of play, Blom had gone on ostensibly the largest run in the history of online poker, winning approximately $5 million from Dwan, prompting Dwan to issue a live challenge to Blom at the Full Tilt Poker Durrrr Million Dollar Challenge. [8]

At the end of 2009, reported that Dwan had lost $4.35 million in 2009, which lowered his cumulative online poker winnings at Full Tilt since January 2007 at approximately $1.4 million. [9] also reported that after stepping down in limits following his loss to Blom/Isildur1, Dwan won $2.7 million in December 2009. [10] According to the same site, Dwan had more than recouped his 2009 losses in the first few months of 2010; he was reported to have won $1.6 million in the first two weeks of April 2010, [11] and after a session in which he won $1.6 million from Sahamies in a little over two hours, [12] was ahead $7.3 million for the year as of April 21. [13] However, Dwan lost about $4 million in the next three weeks, leaving him ahead about $3.3 million for 2010. [14]

Million dollar challenge

In January 2009, Dwan issued a $1,000,000 challenge to play anyone online, "with the exception of Phil Galfond", heads up for 50,000 hands four-tabling at $200/$400 limits or higher No-Limit hold 'em or Pot-Limit Omaha. If his opponent is ahead after 50,000 hands, Dwan agreed to give them $1,500,000 more, while if Dwan is ahead, he will get $500,000. [15] [16] Regarding his challengers, Dwan has said, "I think all of them actually are better over-all poker players than me -- by quite a bit; I happen to think in this one area, I might have a little edge -- and we'll see if I do." [17]

Patrik Antonius and Daniel Cates were playing Dwan as part of the challenge, but neither challenge was completed. In October 2013, Cates was ahead about $1.2 million after roughly 20,000 hands. [18] Since then, however, Cates has publicly claimed that Dwan has stopped playing and is not responding to his queries. [19] In August 2017, Cates stated that Dwan had paid him approximately $800,000 in penalties for not playing, that Dwan was committed to finishing the game, and they expected it to be completed by the end of 2018. [20]

Live tournaments

At the age of 19, Dwan cashed in at his first live tournament, finishing 12th in the £3,000 no limit Texas Hold 'em Main Event of the European Poker Tour's second season held in London, earning £7,000 ($12,398). His next cash was not until he was 21 years old, at the World Poker Tour's 2007 World Poker Finals $9,700 No Limit Hold 'em Championship Event, where he finished 4th earning $324,244. [21] In January 2008, Dwan finished second at the Aussie Millions A$3,000 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys event, winning A$103,200 ($90,716) and later finished in 62nd place in the A$10,000 No Limit Hold 'em Main Event, good for A$25,000 ($21,976). [21] Dwan finished second to James Michael Sowers at the 2008 WPT Borgata Winter Open in the preliminary $5,000 No Limit Hold 'em event, earning $226,100. [21] [22]

Dwan cashed twice in the first year that he could to play in a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event held in the United States. Dwan reached the final table in the $10,000 World Championship Mixed Event at the 2008 World Series of Poker finishing in 8th place, earning $54,144. He nearly made another in a seven-person final table, but finished again in 8th, this time in the $5,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw with Rebuys event, earning $45,110. [21]

Dwan participated in the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship held at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, where in his first match he defeated Phil Hellmuth in the third hand. Dwan was eliminated in the next round by Mike Matusow. [23] At the 2008 Five-Star World Poker Classic (the $25,500 WPT Championship), Dwan finished in ninth place, winning $184,670. [24] [25]

At the 2010 World Series of Poker in the $1,500 No Limit Hold 'em event, Dwan finished in second place for $381,885. [26]

In 2011, Dwan cashed three times at the 2011 World Series of Poker, including a 5th-place finish in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship for $134,480. [27]

As of March 2019, his total live tournament winnings exceed $3.1 million. [28]

In 2016, Dwan went under the radar and was notably absent from that year's WSOP. It was rumored that he was traveling to Montenegro to play in Richard Yong's Casino. He was, however, present in two events including the Third Edition of the Triton Super High Roller Series in Manila and was seen in company of Daniel Cates. [29]

In 2017, Dwan appeared at the Macau Billionaire's Poker 2017 Spring Challenge set at the Babylon Casino in Macau. Running from March 17 to 20, the Super High Roller saw Dwan lose the final against Belarus player Mikita Badziakouski. For his first live cash tournament since February 2014, Dwan pocketed the runner-up prize of US$275,000. [30]

Live cash-games

Dwan previously held the record for the largest pot won in a televised live game at over $1.1 million, which occurred during the fourth season of Full Tilt Poker's Million Dollar Cash Game. This record broke the previous record of over $919,000 also won by Dwan in the fifth season of High Stakes Poker. [31] He regained the record when he won a pot of $3.1 million during the Hustler Casino livestream at the end of May 2023. [32] As of 2016, Dwan has spent much of his time playing high stakes cash games in Macau and Manila. [33] [34] [35]

More recently, he has mostly (though not completely) abandoned standard Texas hold 'em in favor of short-deck hold 'em. In a 2018 interview with Poker News, he said that he viewed poker as more of a game than a sport, and also tired of what he saw as the constant staredowns many players employed. While he admitted to having popularized staredowns, he objected to players doing so even when they were not in a crucial situation. [36]

Full Tilt Poker Durrrr Million Dollar Challenge

Dwan's Million Dollar Challenge was expanded to a 500-hand live heads-up format in the Full Tilt Poker Durrrr Million Dollar Challenge. The event was held November 17 to 19, 2009, at Les Ambassadeurs Club in London and televised by Sky Sports.

The rules of the Challenge were that each player paid $250,000 for the privilege of playing, blinds were set at $500/$1,000 with each opponent having the choice of playing either Texas hold 'em or Pot Limit Omaha (PLO). Neither player could leave the match until at least 500 hands had been completed or one of them lost all of his buy-in and decided not to re-buy. Dwan's opponents were Marcello "luckexpress" Marigliano, Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies, and Sammy "Any Two" George, respectively. [37]

The first match between Dwan and Marigliano consisted mainly of Texas hold 'em, although the players did agree to play Pot Limit Omaha near the end of the match. Dwan lost $22,500 which was highlighted by two bluffs by Marigliano. In the second match between Dwan and Sahamies the players played only Pot Limit Omaha. Although the match started surprisingly slow considering the history of online competition between Dwan and Sahamies, the match eventually became aggressive as expected. There were several large pots resulting in large swings in both players’ stacks. After 12 hours, the match concluded with Dwan winning $68,000.

The final round pitted Dwan against George in an exclusively Texas hold 'em match. [37] During the match, the parties agreed to a 7-2 prop bet wherein if a player wins a pot with 7-2 then he earns an additional $10,000. This led to one of the most memorable bluffs in television poker history when Dwan bet $479,500 on the river, all in, into a pot of only $162,000. Dwan was bluffing with 7–2 against George's two pair (aces and sixes). George folded his two pair after much consideration even though Dwan, after making a 6x pre-flop raise, had said he had 7-2 and just wanted the blinds. George went on to lose $750,000. [37]

Dwan made a final profit of $795,500 after winning two of the three matches.

Team Full Tilt

In November 2009, Dwan became a member of Team Full Tilt and re-signed as a brand ambassador for the site on October 15, 2012. [38] [39] In December 2013, Full Tilt Poker confirmed that they and Dwan "agreed to part ways following the recent expiration of Dwan’s contract". [40]

High Stakes Duel III

Tom Dwan challenged the undefeated Phil Hellmuth in round 2 of the High Stakes Duel III by Poker Go. Dwan ended Hellmuth's winning streak and took home $200,000. [41] The pair have agreed to a third round at double the stakes to take place in Las Vegas at some point during the 2021 World Series of Poker. [42]


In a YouTube video commenting on hands played by Dwan at the Hustler Casino in California 2023, friend and fellow high stakes poker player Phil Galfond described Tom Dwan as having the most thoughts per minute of any poker player he knows. Galfond mentioning that Dwan is factoring in bits and pieces of information at a speed and depth of thought that is "ridiculous". [43]

Career earnings

As of August 2023, Dwan's total live tournament winnings almost equals $6,500,000. [44]

Personal life

Dwan announced on January 27, 2018, on his Twitter account, [45] that he and Bianca Rossi, [46] plan to get married.


  1. "Profile: Tom Dwan". Poker News. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  2. Pajich, Bob (January 11, 2008). "Lee Watkinson Wins Aussie Millions Event No. 7". Card Player . Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  3. Dwan, Tom (November 14, 2009). "durrrr's blog". Two Plus Two. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
  4. "Tom 'durrrr' Dwan". Full Tilt Poker. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
  5. "Player Profile Durrrr". Retrieved April 10, 2009.
  6. Kristy Amett (January 22, 2009). "The Won'durrrr'ful Life of Tom Dwan". Card Player .
  7. Gary Wise (December 14, 2009). "A pause in the action". ESPN.
  8. "Tom Dwan issues live challenge to Isildur1". Poker Listings. November 13, 2009.
  9. "Player Profile Durrrr". Retrieved January 4, 2010.
  10. Baard (December 28, 2009). "Year-end summary for durrrr". Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  11. Teemu (April 13, 2010). "durrrr and Patrik Antonius making some nice profit in April". Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  12. Baard (April 21, 2010). "Durrrr wins $1.5 million from Ziigmund in just over two hours". Retrieved April 21, 2010.
  13. Teemu (April 21, 2010). "Durrrr is unstoppable – reaches $7.3 million in winnings". Retrieved April 21, 2010.
  14. Teemu (May 13, 2010). "Durrrr keeps plummeting". Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  15. Polson, Sarah (January 6, 2009). "durrrr issues million-dollar challenge". Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  16. Murphy, Steve (January 6, 2009). "Ivey Accepts Durrrr's Poker Challenge". Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  17. "Cardplayer TV interview". January 7, 2009. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  18. Brian Pempus (October 4, 2013). "Dan Cates Extends Seven-Figure Lead Over Tom Dwan In Heads-Up Poker Challenge". Card Player . Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  19. Matthew Showell (September 22, 2014). "Jungleman: Dwan Won't Play, Pay Penalties in durrrr Challenge". Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  20. "Railbird Report: Tom Dwan Paid Dan Cates $700,000 in Penalties".
  21. 1 2 3 4 Butt, Robert. "Tom Dwan - results". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  22. "Mike "SowersUNCC" Sowers Takes Down $5k Borgata Winter Poker Open Event for $399,000". January 27, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  23. LUCCHESI, RYAN (March 1, 2008). "NBC National Heads-Up Championship Day 2". Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  24. Court (April 24, 2008). "Hat Bet is Over, Durrrr 9th". Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2008.
  25. "Hands #37-38: Tom "Durrrr" Dwan Eliminated in 9th Place". WPT Enterprises, Inc. Retrieved April 25, 2008.
  26. "Full House gets Simon Watt the win" (PDF).
  27. "Tom Dwan's profile on The Hendon Mob". The Hendon Mob Poker Database.
  28. "Tom Dwan's profile on The Hendon Mob". The Hendon Mob Poker Database.
  29. "The Day That Saw Tom Dwan Return (Manila 2016)". Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  30. "Mikita Badziakouski Defeats Tom Dwan Heads Up to Win Super High Roller" . Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  31. "Ivey, durrrr play largest pot in TV history". September 20, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  32. "Poker pro Tom Dwan calls down bluff for $3.1M, largest pot in broadcast history". Yahoo Sports. May 31, 2023. Retrieved June 26, 2023.
  33. "Tom Hall Reveals Intimate Details of Macau's High-Stakes Poker Cash Games".
  34. "Ivey, Dwan, and Cates Playing HK$20,000/$40,000/$80,000 in Manila".
  35. "Tom Dwan – The Story of Success".
  36. Pill, Jon (August 3, 2018). "Tom Dwan Wants the Stare Downs to End". Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  37. 1 2 3 Full Tilt Poker Million Dollar Challenge, Cypra, Dan (November 21, 2009) Poker News Daily.
  38. "Full Tilt Poker Adds Tom "durrrr" Dwan to Team Full Tilt". Poker News. November 9, 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2009.
  39. "Full Tilt Poker Adds Tom "durrrr" Dwan and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom to Roster". Poker News. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  40. Matthew Showell (December 16, 2013). "Breaking: Tom "durrrr" Dwan Dropped as Full Tilt Poker Professional". Poker Listings. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  41. "Down Goes the Poker Brat: Dwan Cracks Hellmuth's Aces Again to Win High Stakes Duel III".
  42. "Phil Hellmuth Challenges Tom Dwan to High Stakes Duel III Rematch".
  43. How Tom Dwan Won $4,200,000 With Speech Tells REVEALED (YouTube). Phil Galfond. June 16, 2023. Event occurs at 18:21. Retrieved September 5, 2023.
  44. "Tom Dwan's profile on The Hendon Mob". The Hendon Mob Poker Database.
  45. Dwan, Tom (January 27, 2018). "Announcement". Twitter . Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  46. Magyar, Marton (January 2018). "Tom Dwan and His Fiancé in Australia". Poker Tube. Retrieved December 23, 2020.

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